Dave Bonhoff <gtidave <at> golden.net>
2002-10-01 03:18:00 GMT
On the spur of the moment, I bid on an eMate. $51 US later, I was the lucky winner of an eMate with no
accessories, sold "as =ECs". Yup, you know what comes next. I recieve it, plug in my MP2000 power adapter
and the screen stays blank even though it chimes when I press the power button. Did l mention that the screen
was really floppy? Why did I place that bid? Why?
Well, I had nothing to loose, so I grabbed some tools and tore into my silly purchase. It didn't take long to
find the problem. Both hinges had popped their tension springs, and the ribbon cable was punctured. Some
testing with a meter showed 3 dead traces. How could this be fixed? Soldering is out of the question, I
needed something that could be applied cold and would remain flexable while conducting low voltage
signals... Yeah, right!
Well, some quick web searching found pens which dispensed a Latex based silver compound with 0.2 =1A=95mil
resistivity which are normally used for prototyping circuit boards. 2 phone calls the next morning found
an electronics supply store with 1 on the shelf. $18 CDN and 2 hrs later I was back at it. Magnifying glass,
light, tape, sharp knife, dental picks, coffee and a steady hand had me gloping this expensive silver goo
all over! After getting rather frustratcd, I walked away and didn't look back. Wcll, not till thc next day anyway.
I came to the conclusion that the silver compound needed to be thinned out. Back online to check the MSDS
information to get a clue of what chemicals to use. Then canvass the neighbours to see if anyone had what I
needed. After 2 hours of social scavenging I was back to work. After many attempts I was able to bridge the
broken traces without shorting to the other traces. Yup. I got it fixed! I left it for a day to make sure it was
fully set. I also applied a 20mil tape to either side of the ribbon to protect it. How long will it last? I
don't know. Hopefully until Mr. PCBman has his replacements available.
Now I'm looking for another 9W Power supply, some eMate styli, screen protectors, the internal memory
upgrade, and educational software and games suitable for an advanced 5 year old boy. Any and all